How to Move Rose Bushes


Changes in landscape design often mandate moving rose bushes. The ideal time for the move is during the dormancy period, approximately one month before any chances of frost or freezing weather. This gives the rose bush time to acclimate to its new home. Depending on the number of rose bushes that need moving, it is often easiest to perform this gardening task with the assistance of a helper.

Step 1

Measure 18-inches out from the base of the rose bush you plan to move. Use a sharp, sterile spade to cut the root system all the way around the bush. Give the bush a good watering and follow regular care for two months. Do not remove the rose bush and replant it for two months.

Step 2

Till the new area for the rose bush 2-feet deep after the rose bush sets for two months from the previous step. Remove any debris in the area that may hinder the settling of the rose bush roots in its new home.

Step 3

Water the base and 6-inches outward from the rose bush. Make certain the ground is thoroughly soaked. This will help keep the root ball together and create the least amount of stress.

Step 4

Dig a hole in the center of the tilled area approximately twice the width and diameter of the root ball for the rose bush.

Step 5

Fill the bottom 1/4 of the hole with a mixture of 1 part sand and 1 part peat for better soil drainage.

Step 6

Dig up the rose bush. Grasp the base of the rose bush and wiggle back and forth gently to loosen the root ball. Lift the plant a couple of inches. Use both hands or the assistance of a helper to lift the rose bush out the rest of the way by the root ball.

Step 7

Carry the rose bush by the root ball to the new hole. Place into the hole. Backfill with dirt.

Step 8

Water the rose bush until the ground is wet, but not soggy.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid moving rose bushes during the hot, summer months due to the excess stress on the bush.

Things You'll Need

  • Sterile sharp spade
  • Garden till
  • Sand
  • Peat


  • "Roses: Placing Roses, Planting & Care, The Best Varieties;" Sunset Books et all; 2003
Keywords: moving rose bushes, transfer rose bush, move rose bush

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.